MUSE - Hordern Pavilion, Sydney (200701 Channel V article)
This show some of the best guitar solos this side of Poison, and some of the same stage props too.
With a spaceship setting of enormous spiral cylinders, two transparent LED screens, ten guns to fire smoke into the air and flashing lights on every surface, you can tell MUSE are begging to play bigger arenas than this one.
"But it's so goddamn fun, it should be painful."
When they drop enormous balls from the ceiling (which they did before Coldplay, btw), you wonder how much better this could be outdoors. Lucky for the Big Day Out.
The thirty songs that make up MUSE's catalogue now offer the band a range of medium size to gargantuan songs that will hype the crowd or alarm nearby residents, respectively. Thankfully, Matt Bellamy, Dominic Howard and Chris Wolstenhome took mostly from the gargantuan pile and left the heaving mosh in pangs of need. But it's so goddamn fun, it should be painful.
Interestingly, they hardly touched their first album.
The band (plus a sneaky instrumentalist hiding near the drums) choose not to talk during the set, a good plan - to let the music do the screaming - but this was let down by the drummer's decision to speak on a few occasions. Apart from declaring he would like to come back to Sydney more often, Bellamy bounced around the band's equilateral triangle, using any one of his seven hand-built guitars to pounce on riffs and run unexpectedly down the fret bar like an untrained base jumper. It was exhilarating to watch.
If this band lack something, it may be personality. The band's artwork is enigmatic, their lyrics are a similar search for truth, a commitment to revolution and sc-fi dreaming but their interviews are usually detached - never revealing too much.
The drumming is inspired with twists at every verse or bridge, the bass is distorted into totally new shapes and Bellamy simply cannot be controlled. If he is not the most inventive and talented guitarist alive, shoot me in the face.
The Hordern is not big enough for this, but maybe the planet isn't either.